Last day on Redang Island, it’s always hard to say goodbye, a following adventure is the only effective medicine!
One more time we visit Kuala Terengganu, the delicious vegan food we had at the previous stop was the whole time in our minds.
The exotic goods at the market and the alleys of Chinatown have a special charm, one we happily enjoyed.
At last, luggage packed, time to dream about our return.✨🏝
Addresses we visited in Kuala Terengganu:
Kafe Vegan Recipe Vegan Restaurant Address: 156, Jalan Kampung Cina, Kampung Banggul, Kuala Terengganu Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Vegan-Recipe-Cafe-504955603024940/
Open from 7:30am to 9:00pm. *Mr. Tae is such lovely and helpful owner, the food is sensational, a must try vegan’s heaven in KT.
Happy Vege Restaurant – 常悦素食馆 Vegetarian Restaurant Address: Lot 1768, Temple China, Jalan Kemajuan, Kuala Terengganu
Open from 10:30am-3:00pm and 5:30pm-9:30pm. *Same owner as Kafe Vegan Recipe, serves buffet-style at lunchtime. Attached to a Buddhist Temple.
Chinatown – Kampung Cina Address: Jalan Kampung Cina, Kuala Terengganu *A must see in Kuala Terengganu.
Day Market – Pasar Besar Kedai Payang Address: Jalan Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kuala Terengganu
Open from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Cé Rase Restaurant Address: 1, Jalan Dato’ Isaacs, Kuala Terengganu Facebooke Page: https://www.facebook.com/cerasehipster/?rf=1901007913447014
Open from 8am-12pm and 4pm-11pm, closed on Wednesdays.
Kafeteria Riverview Restaurant Address: 113, Jalan Kampung Cina, Kampung Banggul, Kuala Terengganu
Open from 6:30am to 3:30pm, closed on Mondays.
Kuala Terengganu Beach
Kuala Terengganu Airport – Sultan Mahmud Airport Address: Jala Lapangan Terbang, Kuala Terengganu Website: http://www.malaysiaairports.com.my/index.php/component/content/article/15
Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur Address: 64000 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia ERL: Express Rail Link connects the airport to the city center.Full schedule here: http://www.kliaekspres.com/plan-buy/schedule/ Bus: http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport&c=getting_around&id=1&aid=1 Website: http://www.klia.com.my
BMS Organics – Gateway @KLIA2 Organic Vegetarian Restaurant and Shop Address: L2M-19, Level 2M Terminal Klia2, KLIA2 Arrival Lane, Kuala Lumpur International Airport Website: http://www.bmsorganics.com/
Open from 6am to 12am.
Time to say goodbye to wonderful Malaysia, coming back is the thought on our minds!
We had a majestic time in beautiful Terengganu and highly recommend it to everyone.
Let us know in the comments below your thoughts on our trip.❤
Redang adventure keeps going, now in a different part of the island, bringing new territories to be explored!
Today we visit Teluk Pauh, Pulau Pinang, meet some monkeys, eat delicious Malay food, and relax with massages.
Marine Park – Pulau Pinang
Pinang is an islet just a few minutes by boat from Redang main island.
The trip can be arranged with your hotel (often times is included in package deals), or by renting a boat at the pier.
It offers great snorkeling and with a huge variety of species in shallow waters.
The paradisiacal look and powdery white sand make it perfect for sunbathing and enjoying the nature all around.
The only con is the lack of a restaurant, which makes hard to spend a whole day on the island unless you came prepared.
Sun-kissed, sea-hugged, and star-bathed!
Everything happening smoothly, living in the beautiful present.
Just one more typical day in Redang Island, the kind of day I want to have for the rest of my life!
The powdery white sand, the friends, the feels…all peacefully, with the right vibration, being appreciated.
The deep nature connection generating one-pointedness to our otherwise noisy minds.
How easy to be grateful in a place like this?! Impossible to forget that we are living in bliss, surrounded by the divine.
While relaxing by the beach, you can’t help but be mesmerized by the stunning view.
It is beyond belief, dreamy, and radiant with such intensity that you can’t do anything but be spellbound by it.
Inside and outside the water, equally breath-taking.
Make sure to check all our posts and videos about Redang and stay tuned to see more of the dazzling Island!
How amazing is our world, how lucky we are to be able to go through such experiences!
They are one attitude away, free yourself, spread your wings and fly!
Divine Redang is one of these gifts from the universe, just waiting for you.😉
Grab it, manifest, live it!✨
Where To Stay
As I mentioned in the previous post, unfortunately, there are no backpacker prices available on the island.
There are still a big variety of hotels, from mid-range to high-end prices.
My advice is to stay beachfront, Redang is not an easy/cheap place to move around, and there’s not much to see apart from the main reason you’re there.
No night markets, pubs, nice restaurants, or whatsoever out of the beachfront.
There’s only one road on the island and it doesn’t access many of the bays, it is a mistake not to stay beachfront, there’s no reason too.
We wanted to get our diving certification done, packages were the best/cheapest/value option.
If you are planning on doing snorkeling trips, it may be the best choice to go with a package too.
We are usually not prone to buying packages but in Pulau Redang, it was what worked the best for us.
If you are on a tight budget and choose one of the small hotels that are not in front of the beach(and are still expensive), paying for trips/ snorkeling trips/taxis/dives to visit the places you wish, can end up costing you the same as the package deals or more.
I know that’s not the case in many places, but it is in Redang.
Asking around the pier or in the village won’t put the price much down, you will either end up isolated and not experiencing the island as much or spending a whole more then you expected.
We had an amazing time and recommend staying at the main beach, Pasir Panjang.
Redang interior is quite undeveloped and at this bay, you have the opportunity to walk the long beach, look at small shops, have some massage, and restaurants options.
Also, it is magnificent and not crowded at all, the peaceful feeling remains even though it is the most concentrated area.
Fantastic snorkeling can be done out of the shore.
Last day of our special encounter with this place.
Salty skin, salty soul.
Interaction with a new culture and again our world becomes bigger! It’s true, the universe is always expanding.✨
Teluk Kerma, mostly called D’lagoon due the long-running hotel at its bay, is an amazing beach in Perhentian Kecil (small island).
The island is gorgeous, just looking at it is enough!🌴
If you want to do something else though, there’s a dive shop, ATV’s, snorkeling equipment, banana boat, kayaks, and a free zip-line available at the hotel to further entertain yourself.
Hammocks and beach chairs are also placed around the beach with even a simple checkers with sea view.=]
There’s a turtle hatchery project being done by the hotel, you can see the baby turtles and eventually the mom! If the big turtle comes to the beach at night-time they will wake everyone up to see it (without interfering).🐢
There’s a jungle trek departing from behind the hotel leading to 3 different destinations: Turtle Beach (10 min walk), Adam and Eve( 20 min walk) and Long Beach(1 hour walk, steep way up, beautiful view though).
It’s perfect to explore different locations using D’Lagoon as a base.
If you are not into trekking, skip the Long Beach pathway (that can be done by boat), but don’t even consider skipping pristine Adam and Eve and Turtle Beach!
The restaurant here is short on options for vegans, if possible bring some fruits along.
Other choice is visiting the neighbor bays and have something to eat there (still short on fruits but there’s much more meal options).
The boat will cost rm 15 to Long Beach where there’s nicer food options than Coral Bay for example.
D’Lagoon Chalet and Restaurant Perhentian Kecil Website: http://www.dlagoon.my
Only one hotel located at this bay* *Can’t be booked in advance.We called few days before arrival to ask whether they thought there would be free places in our dates, we suggest you to do the same.
Kota Bahru Airport
There’s a stall selling traditional Malay sweets at Kota Bahru airport.
Many of them are vegan and delicious, definitely worth the try.🍬
They can be a great souvenir as well, exotic new tastes are always a hit with my family.
Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kota Bharu – Lapangan Terbang Sultan Ismail Petra Address: Pengkalan Chepa, Kelantan, Kota Bharu, Malaysia Website: https://www.sultanismailpetra.com
It is always hard to say goodbye.☀️
I try not to overthink on whether we are going to be back one day or not and let the universe work its magic.
There’s of course the melancholy of saying goodbye and the very human urge of wanting to be back, but even after that I reflect on the whole situation and come to the conclusion that moment was manifested, it existed beautifully, it was there, forever imprinted on my mind, on our superconscious in form of a delicate mandala of love.
Which reminds me that now is all that exists, so there’s no more melancholy or urges, just the universe, dancing!❤️
Our first time in Malaysia couldn’t be better with Perhentians as our opening place!
It’s a closed deal our return to see more of this enchanting country.
And these are part of the reason why:
At first we arrived in Teluk Dalam, the sun was up and the shiny crystal water put a spell on everyone on the boat.
First impression was gold and it was there to stay.
Our hotel was a budget beach front bungalow, with the perfect view to wakeup for.
If you are used to budget hotels in Thailand, be prepared to lower your expectations, around here things are simpler.
That being said, the location was sublime enough to any detailed about the room be forgiven, specially for such prices.
It’s not a must see if you are staying somewhere else, it is beautiful, but so is everywhere else on the island.
Recommended for people looking for a well located base to explore Besar island, with accommodation options suiting every budget.
PIR stands for Perhentian Island Resort, the hotel which the bay is named after.
If it fits your pocket, this is a very nice location to stay in Besar, otherwise Teluk Dalam is a short walk away (see more about that below).
It has a long stretch of sand, plenty of space to enjoy the beach in privacy.
The hotel restaurant is handy to have the chance to spend more time around.
A 20 min walk separates the two beauties.
If coming from Teluk Dalam trails starts behind Arwana Resort, if from PIR it starts behind Perhentian Island Resort.
The path near by Arwana is covered with knee/thigh high weeds, but it clears up in about 5min.
The trek level is easy and beginners, children and elderly can do it.
When I first stepped on the beach, I saw the beauty, but the true one was yet to be uncovered.
From the early morning arrival, soon the sun king rose and on that moment I saw it: as in the movies, as in heaven, as in the dreams; unspoiled, deserted, giving of joy Turtle Beach.
Things kept its pace when snorkeling, swimming with blue spotted sting rays, black tip reef sharks, napoleon fishes and other hundreds of beautiful creatures.
There it is! We found it, look no further! As I said before, you are the universe! Just be it.✨
Our favorite bay in Perhentian Kecil (small island).
First there is a short walk inside the jungle, helping the movie vibe, than you push the branches and reveal the landscape!
If not coming by the 3 jungle treks that end here, you can rent a boat from rm 15-25 depending from where you depart from.
The beach is perfect, white sand, lush greens, crystal clear water, corals, rocks and islets nearby perfectly arranged by mother nature.
The snorkeling don’t fall behind; colorful corals, wild range of fishes, sharks, sting rays and much more.
While there’s the possibility of meeting someone at the bay, the greater chance is to be there by yourself. We’ve been there twice, alone.=]
Adam and Eve
Our second favorite in Perhentian Kecil.
It may be your favorite, Turtle and Adam and Eve are close runners.
For us the deal breaker was the snorkeling, Turtle was richer in marine life.
As you can get by name, here was the original location of the Garden of Eden. Just kidding, but it might as well be.😜
Just like Turtle, the access is done by 3 jungle treks or by boat.
From here you can snorkel to the nearby nameless small bays.
The main stretch of sand in Perhentian is Long Beach, it is not the most beautiful though.
Perfect for those looking for night life and meeting lot’s of other travelers, not recommended for families or people looking for a quiet place.
There’s a lot of budget accommodation, restaurants, shops, bars and dive centers located there.
Unfortunately it may not be the safest place, there’s history of burglary.
Make sure the windows and door of you room is well locked and don’t leave nothing alone at the beach while bathing.
*There’s no facilities at the bay, bring water and anything else you wish.
You can walk to D’Lagoon to eat, or to take the boat to eat somewhere else.
*If you came by boat, you can fix a time to be picked up from the bay.
*Don’t leave anything at the beach, it can get stolen.
*Don’t step at the corals and bring your trash with you when you leave.
*The path in between Turtle and Adam and Eve takes around 10 min.
*Special attention is required towards belongings when staying in Long Beach.
Keep an eye on your drinks as well.
Blinding white sand with calm light turquoise water.Just like heaven might look, but right here on earth for you to enjoy.
This is Rong Samloem island setting, one not easy to forget.
There’s no roads, cars or such.Only a dozen of simple beach front hotels(and unfortunately couple of piers).
With two trails departing from the main Saracen Bay, one heading to Lazy Beach(20 min walk) and the other to Sunset Beach(45 min walk).Any other transportation is done by small boats you can easily rent along the beach.
But first, as you know, you have to get there:
How To Get There
The way from Sihanouk to Koh Rong Samloem (not to be confused with the neighbor Koh Rong) is easy.
You just have to buy the fast boat tickets, available at most hotels, as well at small tour shops around the city.
Transportation from your hotel to Serendipity Beach pier is included at ticket price.
The available schedule includes boats at 9:00, 11:00 and 15:00.The ride takes 45 min and costs 10 usd one way.
There’s more then one company traveling this route, timetables are known for changing frequently and late boat departures are common.
The boat will stop at 3 piers in Koh Rong Samloem: Saracen Bay, Ecosea Resort and M’Pay Bay(11:00am boat doesn’t stop at M’Pay Bay) .
Be aware that when you buy an open return ticket, the company may keep available space at the boat for new buyers and leave you without option but to wait for other times or dates.
We had a bad experience with that.Unless you already know the exactly time and date you want to be back and leave it scheduled, you better of buying the return when you have your dates later on.
Saracen Bay is our recommendation due to convenience and looks.
As far as beach quality, I’m sure you’ll have no complaints (aside from not wanting to leave).It is paradisiacal, literally.
From Saracen Bay still you have 2 tracking trails available, amplifying your visit options without counting on a boat.
Comfort talking, food options are quite limited at the island, alternating restaurants can be a big deal when facing poor menu choices, and this will be only an option when staying in Saracen.
The food struggle is even worse for vegans, not many fruits and veggies are available, eating a fried rice with only one veggie on it is likely to happen until you find better options elsewhere.
Accommodation-wise, there’s no high-end resorts at the island.
Most of hotels are simple bungalows, some with limited electricity.
We booked two different hotels, but due to work emergency we left without actually staying at the second one.
In the other hand, if you’re looking for privacy and isolated feeling staying at Lazy Beach may be the best choice for you.
The fast boat don’t stop at this beach though, a boat ride or 20 min walk will be needed.
The golden sand beach and greenish ocean are a total different look from Saracen, making these 2 must see spots.
Things To Do
If you’re after some water fun ➡️ snorkeling, diving(even getting your padi ) and kayaking are available(and recommended!) at the island.
Feet on the sand is your vibe? Chilling at the beach and trekking to explore the island are great options!
What about night time? You can rent a boat for 40 usd (boat price, can be shared by a group) to swim with magical looking bioluminescent plankton contrasting with the dark sea.
If you ask my opinion I would say go on and do it all!Enjoy every aspect of this beautiful place!🌴
Koh Tao( เกาะเต่า ) means Turtle Island, dedicated to the island shape, and yes you can find turtles there as well!😉
Located at Chumphon Archipelago on the Gulf of Thailand, near by famous neighbors Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Spotting a turtle is considered a luck charm by Thai people, we saw one and they must definitely be right, because we felt blessed by that encounter.
If you’re a fan of snorkeling or/and diving there’s no way you won’t love this place!
But first you have to get there:
By Train + Ferry Boat
At Hua Lamphong Train Station you can buy a combo train+ferry ticket (Bangkok-Chumphon by train, Chumphon-Koh Tao by ferry).
I certainly recommend buying the ferry in advance(at Hua Lamphong) to avoid overcharge(very likely to happen) and/or losing the ferry and time once in Chumphon.
Soon as you arrive at Chumphon (nearest coastal city to Koh Tao) there’s still a half hour bus ride until the pier, the bus will be waiting for you and it is a free service included at the ticket price, it will bring you directly to the pier.
Enjoy your bus ride, it’s a beautiful way down the pier.
Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours.
There are 2nd class seats, 2nd class beds(air-con and fan fares) and 1st class cabin options available at the train, the trip will take around 8 hours.Best will be choosing an overnight train and enjoy your sleep until the destination, it also matches the morning boat assuring you won’t have to spend the night in Chumphon.
If you’re not short on time and don’t mind an adventure, train would be my recommendation.This is the way we’ve done it and we would definitely do it again!👍 Address: Hua Lamphong – หัวลำโพง
(Officially “Bangkok Railway Station” – สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) Address: Hua Lamphong, Rama 4 Road, Mahaphruttharam, Bangrak, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: หัวลำโพง ถ.พระราม 4 แขวง มหาพฤฒาราม เขต บางรัก กทม MRT: Hua Lamphong station – Blue line, exit 2 BTS(skytrain): *Interchange with MRT needed- Asoke station – Sukhumvit line, interchange with MRT blue line Website(Thailand Railway): http://www.railway.co.th/home *In this website you can check all timetables, fares and seating options with pictures of all trains in Thailand.
By Flight + Ferry Boat
There’s 3 airports nearby: Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Chumphon.
From the chosen one you will have to take a bus/taxi/tuk tuk until the pier and then a ferry to Koh Tao.
Note that flights directly to Koh Samui are usually extremely more expensive than other destinations in Thailand, the reason is a private(and beautiful!) owned airport with a route done by only one company(Bangkok Airways).
If there’s availability from your departure point, Chumphon is the best choice.
By Bus + Ferry Boat
Multiple buses to Chumphon depart from Southern Bus Terminal during the day.The trip will take around 8 hours. BE AWARE that private buses from Khao San Road are NOT a good choice as multiple THEFT are occurring on those trips.
After arrival, you have to catch the next boat to Koh Tao.Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours(there’s slower boats, if possible plan to arrive in time for the fast one).
I personally would rather use the train, as you will have a bed to sleep all the way and guaranty to board the fast boat on time. Address: Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) – สถานีขนส่งสายใต้ใหม่ตลิ่งชัน Address: Borommaratchachonnani Road, Chim Phli, Taling Chan, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: ถนน บรมราชชนนี แขวง ฉิมพลี เขต ตลิ่งชัน กรุงเทพมหานคร
Best way to get there is by taxi.
*For very short budgets, there’s a night-time ferry that leaves Chumphon 23:00 and arrives 5:00 for 300 baht(day time 1.5 hour trip will cost 550 baht).
Where to Stay/Where to Explore
There’s definitely more than one option when it comes to choosing a location, and it will depend on what you’re looking for:
The main beach in Koh Tao.
The two occasions i advise you to stay here is if you came specially to party or are on a strict budget.Don’t get me wrong, Saree is cute(with reasonable snorkeling!), but there’s other chin dropping locations that are just the whole package.
Saree is a place to visit after the sunset, walk around the shops, have something to eat and enjoy beach parties.
The main pier is located just besides Saree at Mae Had Beach.
*If you choose any of the options below, bear in mind that you will need some kind of transportation every time you wish to leave your hotel (see more about that in “Transportation” section below). It may sound like a bummer to you, but on my point of view the fun of Koh Tao is exactly exploring the Island beautiful landscapes. The distance between the bays is quite short(not enough to explore by walk), this is a small Island. It will guarantee you paradisiacal looks and snorkeling right in front of your hotel. If you rather stay right in the middle of the buzz, where most of the restaurants and parties are going on then “Saree” or “Mae Haad”(located besides Saree) are better options for you.
We were misled to believe we were booking a hotel at Jansom Bay. The beach front hotel we stayed was cute, we have no complains about it, but when we spend the day at actual Janson Bay we could confirm that it would have been the right choice for us.
The small bay offers stunning snorkeling, beautiful setting, quiet surroundings and is not far from city center.
There’s just one hotel there however, limiting a little for budget travelers.
If not staying at Jansom, visiting their private beach(200 baht per person until 17:00), even paying a fee is worth it.If on a budget you can arrive near 17:00 to enjoy the waters for free, still you have great visibility.😄
Beautiful snorkeling and for the fearless(and experienced swimmers in nice weather please!) the option to swim to the famous Shark Island(can be done by boat otherwise).
If you’re on a budget and is not an experienced motorcycle driver, it may not be the best option for you to pick a hotel here due the steep way down the beach(for experienced drivers it isn’t a problem).
Much wider than Jansom and Banana Rock, great for spending a day.
Unless something changed(the island is growing fast!), the path there by land is a truly hard one.Totaly worth it though(one more time, only for experienced drivers).
Another way to get here is by long tail boat(see more at “Transportation” section below).
There are only a bar and a restaurant there, placed in a way on this tiny bay, that makes you feel like you are in a secret place, everyone else there is silently sharing with you.
Again, great snorkeling, here we spotted a turtle and heard about many seeing sharks.
Large stretch of sand, quiet and peaceful vibe, over again enchanting snorkeling.
Yet another tough road, but much easier than Banana Rock one.
Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan is a small island just about 10 minutes far from Koh Tao, and is also a fantastic choice.
Although the access is only by boat i would recommend to stay 1-2 days there(depending on your taste) and then in Koh Tao. For that, you have to book in fair advance, we’ve tried around 3 weeks before our travel date and the hotel was already fully booked(there’s just one hotel at Koh Nang Yuan).
Another options is doing a day trip to Nang Yuan, for 400 baht(price for the boat, not per person) you can rent a private long tail boat for 2 ways.In this case there’s a 100 baht entrance fee per person.
This is a must see, make sure to save some time on your schedule! *No plastic is allowed at the island, don’t even bother bringing bottles of water because you gonna have to leave it at the entrance.
Other Locations (Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Ban, Ao Thian, etc)
There was some sites we didn’t have time to see, that were greatly recommended as well, if you get the chance to explore Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Bay, Ao Thian (or any other lovely place) let us know how do you like it.✨
→Long Tail Boat- Great private and yet cheap option to explore on your rhythm.
You can ask at your reception desk for one, or find it yourself around Mae Haad pier for quite good prices(bargain in both cases).
→Motorcycle- Renting a motorcycle is easy(even if you don’t have a license) and pretty cheap compared to other Thai islands.
Is advisable to take pictures of your vehicle state to avoid damage charges not caused by you.If possible rent from the hotel you’re staying it will ensure more credibility.
→Taxi- If you don’t know/want to drive a motorcycle, you still can move around by grabbing a taxi(that are actually trucks you embark and seat at the trunk).This is an expensive alternative, specially if used frequently.
*We rented a motorcycle to better explore the island.It wouldn’t have been the same without it.
What to do
*Known as a diver’s paradise, Koh tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to take a Padi course (diving certification).🐳
*Snorkeling is another star at the paradisiacal island, including group snorkeling trips, snorkeling off the beach or even renting a boat to explore on your pace.🐠
*Beach parties are big at the main beach area, with acrobatic fire shows, relaxing Thai cushions placed at the sand, everything while facing the sea.🎉
*Chilling at the beach, enjoying the most delicious coconut water with THE view, what better to do?🌴
*Shopping for us have always been part of vocation experience, I adore to ramble around the local craft shops and buy some souvenirs, Koh Tao has plenty of little shops to please that desire.🎁
*Thai Massage is a must!Preferably overlooking the sea.🏖
*Delicious Thai food, as I mentioned before, is one of the things that make Thailand special.Is not only the beautiful nature, but the people, the food, the vibe.Thailand got it all!🌞
*Check the View Point and enjoy a drink while admiring the breath-taking scenery.
Please, do not step at the corals!It may seem obvious, but I noticed many people forgetting this detail when excited about the whole situation.Let’s upkeep the beauty that attract us to the place!💙
Would you like to explore Koh Tao? Share with us in the comments below!💙
Similan Islands – หมู่เกาะสิมิลัน
Our FAVORITE place in Thailand! A real paradise on earth with the whitest sand and the clearest water!
Amazing snorkeling experience with giant fishes, sharks, rays, and turtles.A top priority must see!🐠
This beauty is a group of 11 islands located at the Andaman Sea belonging to Phang Nga province.
Islands number 1, 2 and 3 are closed due to turtle hatching program and reef conservation.
While having lunch at the island 4 we got the chance to see hundreds of fruit bats at the trees just behind the seafront sand stretch.
Other wild animals you may see at the islands are the hairy-legged mountain crabs, lizards, snakes and multiple species of birds.
But first, you need to get there!
To Reach Similan
From Khao Lak:
All around the city, you will find tour booths and they all offer trips to Similan Islands.
Boats depart daily during high season(November-May).
Few companies get this trip done, they have from a full day to 2 nights tour options.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Staying overnight here is not as simple compared to the other Thai destinations.For more info on how to stay at the island check “Accommodation” segment below.
Tip: When buying your tours don’t forget to bargain.Prices can and will be reduced.
The nearest airport is Phuket International Airport.
From there you have few different options in how to continue your way to Similan Islands: 1-Getting to Khao Lak, then taking a speedboat to Similan. 2-Take a speedboat from Phuket.
2-Take a speedboat from Phuket- Group and private speedboat can be booked to Similan Islands in travel agencies around Phuket.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Be aware though that there’s just camping tents and 20 basic bungalows with no hot water and electricity only at night time.Is a secluded paradise with a simple setting and only one small restaurant where the food is served at a community table between palm trees with sand in your feet.
If you looking for a luxury stay that’s not for you, in this case, the full day trip will fit you better.
For stay at the tents(available on island 4 and 8), the only way is booking your trip with a travel agent.That will be easily and much cheaper done in Khao Lak then other options.
If you plan on staying at the bungalow(available on island 4) that has to be booked thru Similan Islands National Park website for 1.000 to 2.000 baht, some travel agencies are able to book it as well but they will charge extra for that.Booking a bungalow has proved to be troublesome for times as the method is a little outdated.(Some things just worth the trouble😉) *Similan Islands National Park website: http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=212&lg=2
Another option would be sleeping at an overnight boat tour more focused on divers(can be found at tour stalls in Khao Lak and Phuket).
And finally staying in Khao Lak and booking day trips are perfect for those who don’t want open hands of some comforts.
Similan Islands are closed during low season(middle May – middle October).
Enchanted with this paradise?Share with us in the comments below!💛
Khao Lak – เขาหลัก
is a departure point for some of the coolest snorkeling and diving spots in Thailand as well as some scenic tour destinations like James Bond Island.
Located in Phang Nga province this is a great family destination likewise for couples or anyone looking for more quiet, relaxing vibe.
Home of many high-end resorts Khao Lak has more of a sophisticated touch then most of Thai destinies that usually thrive on the laid back atmosphere.
For me was all about chilling at the beach all day long, having something to eat looking at the sea and watching the sunset with some Thai massage.Then the night would be the gourmet moment followed by some souvenir shopping at the cozy beach stores all around the main street.
For such small place i was surprised with the great supermarket and the variety of restaurants you could find around.
Something easy peasy to encounter was the tour booths distributed all over the city where you could buy multiple tour options from snorkeling to hikes, during from one afternoon to tree days long.
We’ve done the Monkey Temple + Panyee Village + James Bond Island Tour and the Similan Islands snorkeling tour.We loved the experience and highly recommend.
Beaches + Where To Stay
We visited 3 beaches while our stay: Amphoe Takua Pa, Nang Thong Beach, Pakweeb Beach (White Sand Beach).They were distinct from each other and we recommend looking them up.
Our hotel was located at Nang Thong Beach, nice area to stay with multiple restaurant choices, stores, the city center, etc.
If you want a more secluded place then White Sand Beach is a good call.
Tip: We advise to book accommodation ahead if you’re visiting Khao Lak in the high season peak (November-February).
Onboard of our motorbike we drove 7km along the rubber trees listening the melodic nature sounds al the way to Tonchongfa Waterfall.
When the entrance is reached you have to park your vehicle there and proceed by walk for another 1km.The final part of the walk is a little complicated, not advised for people with mobility problems.
Tonchongfa was quiet and beautiful with enough place to swim and friendly garra rufa fishes(massage fishes) that help you renovate your skin.🐟
There’s few other waterfalls to be explored such as Lampi Waterfall(easy access), Pakweep Waterfall(easy access) and Ton Prai Waterfall.
To better explore the area we decided to rent a motorbike during our stay(around 300-350 baht a day at the high season, if renting for multiple days discount is applied).Cars were also available for rent.
If you know how to drive that’s a great way to get to know around and don’t get sucked at the beach you’re staying, otherwise you can take a taxi or tuk tuk. *If you normally don’t drive is definitely not a good idea to start here.For some reason it seems to be something that is happening(specially with youngsters) and accidents are being reported.
Buses depart from Phuket Bus Terminal 2(address below) daily about every hour and take around 1:30 to 2:00 hours to complete the journey.
Ask for an air-con bus (it may not be working very well), have in mind that this are very simple buses, but enough for a short ride.
The price for one person is around 80 baht and the bus will stop right at the main street(Nang Thong Beach area).
Group and private speed boats can be booked to Khao Lak in travel agencies around Phuket.
As well as boat trips to snorkeling destinations near by such as Similan Islands.
You can hire a private taxi from Phuket to Khao Lak and the other way around.
Bargaining your price will be a must.
Usually your hotel will be able to find the taxi for you, another option is asking directly to the cab drivers at the street and if they don’t do this route themselves someone will be recommended to you.
This can be arranged at the airport as well.
The price should be between 1200-1800 baht and the journey will take about one hour and a half.
*Is recommended to use a certified taxi.
There’s a private company that offers helicopter transfers to Khao Lak (around 2700 usd), 30min duration.
VIP 24 seats and 1st Class 32 seats buses depart daily from Mo Chit Bus Terminal(address below).
The trip takes around 12 hours, air-con works well, comfy clean seats, complimentary snack and water bottle, there’s a toilet in the bus and in the middle of the way bus stops for a free meal(VIP bus). *Khao Lak to Bangkok – Tickets can be purchase in all the tour booths around the city and in some of the hotels.
From Khao Lak to Bangkok prices vary between 1000-1300 baht(bargain needed) for a VIP 24 seats bus with one meal included. *Flight ticket prices are quite cheap, sometimes even same price as the buses.
The nearest airport is Phuket international Airport(address below).
Ticket prices are quite cheap, sometimes even same price with buses.
If you flying to Phuket you can check the options on how to finish your trip on “From Phuket” segment above.
Check “By Flight” on “From Bangkok” segment above.
Tip:*The map of the city has changed after the 2004 Tsunami, be sure the map you’re checking out is the new one when planing your trip.
*Convenient destination nearby is Phuket, Click Here to know more.
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Mo Chit Bus Terminal – สถานีขนส่งหมอชิต
(Also known as Northern Bus Station or Chatuchak Bus Terminal) *Not to be confused with Mo Chit BTS skytrain station. BTS(skytrain): Mo Chit Station – Sukhumvit line, THEN TAKE A TAXI.
Best way to get there from Bangkok is by taxi.
Phuket Airport – ท่าอากาศยานภูเก็ต Website: http://phuketairportthai.com/en *Terminal 1 for international flights, terminal 2 for domestic flights. *Located 32km from Phuket city center.